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PROMETHEUS BOUND

by: Aeschylus


For seeing they saw not, and hearing they understood not, but like shapes in a dream they wrought all the days of their lives in confusion.

Pride has always gone before a fall.

There is no disease I spit on more than treachery.

For somehow this is tyranny's disease, to trust no friends.

I judge by deeds not words.

Words are the physicians of a mind diseased.

Memory is the mother of all wisdom.

For it would be better to die once and for all than to suffer pain for all one's life.

Time as he grows old teaches all things.

When a match has equal partners, then I fear not.

It is an easy thing for one whose foot is on the outside of calamity to give advice and to rebuke the sufferer.

God's mouth knows not how to speak falsehood, but he brings to pass every word.

Then beneath the earth those hidden blessings for man, bronze, iron, silver and gold—who can claim to have discovered before me? No one, I am sure, who wants to speak to the purpose. In one short sentence understand it all: every art of mankind comes from Prometheus.

Hear now the sorry tale
Of mortal man. A thing of no avail
He was, until a living mind I wrought
Within him, and new mastery of thought.
I cast no blame on man; I do but crave
To show what love was in the gifts I gave.
I tell you, sight they had but saw in vain;
Hearing, but heard not; as shapes wax and wane
In dreams, aimless for ever and confused,
They moved; no binding of the clay they used,
No craft of wood, to build in the bright sun
Their dwellings; but like feeble ants wind-blown,
Hid them in crannied caves, far from the day;
No seasons did they know, no signs to say
When winter cold should come, nor flowery spring,
Nor summer with his fruit, but everything
They did was without knowledge, till their eyes
Were oped by me to see the stars that rise,
And them that sink to heaven's obscurer parts.
Then Number, Number, queen of all the arts,
I showed them, and the craft which stroke to stroke
Added, till words came and the letters spoke;
The all-remembering wonder, the unworn
And edged tool, whence every Muse is born.
Beasts of the forest and the field I broke
To harness, made them servants to the yoke
And carriers who might lift from man the pain
Of extreme toil; I hanselled to the rein
The gentle steed, and in the chariot tied
For rich men who would glory in their pride.
I made, none else, for mariners the free
And flaxen-winged chariots of the sea.
Alas, all these new wisdoms I could find
For mortals, but no wisdom to unbind
These mine own fetters -- nay, nor hope of it.

On me the tempest falls. It does not make me tremble. O holy Mother Earth, O air and sun, behold me. I am wronged.

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